Speedy Gonzales Announcement…

The ink wasn’t even dry on John Ashcroft’s long overdue resignation, before the President announced his choice to replace Ashcroft as our nation’s attorney general: White House counsel Alberto Gonzales. Notice that the usual Democratic spokesmen, Senators Chuck Schumer and Pat Leahy of the Senate Judiciary Committee, both expressed what appeared to praise of the (perceived to be moderate)
Gonzales. They are simply telegraphing what I assure you will be a smooth and painless confirmation process for Gonzales, because… he is perceived to be moderate…
Of course, Gonzales is anything but, having penned memoranda justifying the President’s “inherent” power akin to the divine right of kings, including and especially the (non-existent) power of the President to authorize torture of innocent people. But I digress.
Given that he was kind of loose on parental notification of juvenile abortions back as a judge in Texas, the fundies kind of have a problem with him. No matter: Latinos gave 44% of their vote to the President, and as usual, they will be rewarded with a photo-op and a token appointment, in this case, the nation’s first Hispanic Attorney General (and a shoo-in to replace Rehnquist as our first Hispanic Chief Justice).
While much of the left side of the blogosphere is up in arms because of Gonzales’ above-referenced support of torture and the divine right of Bush, they forget simple politics. Democrats did not overcome a perception that the fillibuster against Miguel Estrada* was somehow an attack by Democrats against all Latinos. What this means is that no– as in zero– political capital will be wasted on Alberto Gonzales, lest Democrats hand Bush yet further inroads in America’s fastest growing ethnic minority, Latinos (who, let’s face it, tend be far more conservative as individuals than do their so-called “leaders”.)
So, let’s all congratulate Attorney General Gonzales, both on his new job, and on his appointment soon as our Chief Justice. He will have quite the resume.
Look: we are getting so out-played politically, I cannot tell you. Estrada was blocked because of abortion (let’s not kid ourselves). Hispanics have responded, IMHO, by supporting Bush in semi-record numbers (there’s just no other explanation that I find credible). Just another example of how the abortion issue seems to trump every other aspect of the Democratic agenda, and keeps getting Democrats bitten on the ass.
I suggest (assuming we care about ever winning the presidency again) that abortion (now unavailable in 86% if American counties, according to Planned Parenthood) should be entirely, 100%, a matter of state law. NOT a fundamental, federal right (meaning the Supreme Court can take it away, just as it created it in the first place), nor anything the federal government can do anything about at all. Let Alabama (where you probably can’t get one anyway) ban the procedure; as long as the blue states legalize it, why isn’t that good enough? Just my opinion.
Because our new attorney general (and next chief justice) believes in the Divine Right of Bushes to rule unbounded by law, including the power to direct torture.
And his confirmation is pretty much a done deal.
*What a year this has been for Columbia College, and especially Columbia ’83! Besides Estrada, my college class features Illinois’ new senator Barack Obama, and Martha Stewart’s co-defendant Peter Bacanovic, and former Connecdticut Governor John Rowland’s principal tormentor, Steven Reich. Columbia College ’78 also boasts disgraced soon to be former New Jersey Governor James McGreevey.